Chelsea have no stadium move plans

Chelsea have re-iterated their desire to remain at Stamford Bridge despite suggestions they are in talks to leave their 105-year-old home.

Reports claim that the Barclays Premier League club are to build a 60,000 seater ground on the site of the soon-to-be-demolished Earls Court exhibition centre.

It is understood that proposals have been sent to Chelsea but the club has no plans to follow them up at the present time.

A spokesman for the club told Press Association Sport: "We'll always look at proposals presented to us, but we have no plans to move stadium at this time."

Leading architect Sir Terry Farrell is set to transform Earls Court into a new residential area with more than 8,000 new homes.

The scheme, being undertaken with fellow landowners, Transport for London and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, enters its latest stage of public consultation this week.

The move by Capital and Counties, the site's owners, is understood to be a last effort to get a better deal before the housing plan becomes final.

They are believed to have contacted all previously interested parties to see if there is any renewed interest.

While Chelsea viewed the proposals, the club are currently intent on pursuing the sale of naming rights for Stamford Bridge to increase revenue.

The Blues understand they cannot compete with the match day income streams of rivals like Manchester United and Arsenal and see the sale of naming rights as a way of bridging the gap and re-stating their commitment to remain at the ground.

Chelsea looked at the same Earls Court site four years ago but did not pursue the opportunity.

Earls Court is scheduled to host the 2012 Olympic volleyball competition before the exhibition centre is demolished.

The 73-year-old venue has hosted rock concerts from all the top bands like Slade and Led Zeppelin but it has suffered from the emergence of the O2 Arena as a leading venue.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, quoted at the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge last month, said: "Certainly we wouldn't leave west London or thereabouts and there are very few sites available.

"We have to do things with our other commercial activities to make up the deficit that is created by the fact we don't have a 60,000 seat stadium. We can't say that we will never move or have a new stadium but at the moment, it's not at the front of our agenda."

However, a spokesman for Capital and Counties, strongly denied they had approached Chelsea to try and get a better deal.

"It is categorically untrue to state that this latest speculation was prompted by Capco," said a spokesman.

"Indeed, the initial approach was by Chelsea FC to Capital & Counties, not vice-versa."